Michelangelo Signorile Predicts the Future

SiriusXM radio host Michelangelo Signorile gives the recent Chick-fil-A kiss-ins his own post-mordem analyisis in a Huffington Post editorial:

Some are saying we lost the battle with Chick-fil-A, even calling it a dismal failure. I don’t believe any effort to point to homophobia is ever in vain, so I wouldn’t go that far. When you’re fighting bigotry, it’s always an uphill battle.

That said, there were problems with the strategy — or rather, lack of strategy — in taking on Chick-fil-A. We allowed the opponents of LGBT rights to use the media to recast the issue as one about the first amendment. I say we “allowed” the radical right to do this because it’s a no-brainer that it’s not about Chick-fil-A’s first amendment rights, as Gay Voices editor Noah Michelson explained.

The words “dismal failure,” which start off Signorile’s post and has been reiterated by other media outlets and within the community itself, reminded me of another protrest about two decades ago where the similar words were used.

Shouting in a hallway as one meeting concluded, Peter Staley, a 28-year-old former bond trader who is among Act-Up’s leaders, denounced the St. Patrick’s protest as an ”utter failure” and a ”selfish, macho thing.” ‘Rude, Rash, Effective, Act-Up Shifts AIDS Policy’; Jason DeParle; The New York Times; January 3, 1990.

The protest the article is refering to is December 1989 disruption of mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. Activists from ACT UP chanted in the church isles and lay down on the floor. This was all part of ACT UP’s confrontational way of getting the public’s attention focused on AIDS. It was a form of protest with which not all of the gay community agreed. Yet, now, though history’s prism, those protests are seen as being largely as Signorile comments on within his same op-ed:

The “Same-Sex Kiss Day” is also being criticized by some who say it was the wrong tactic because it was “offensive.” That’s misplaced. Attention-grabbing, sometimes jarring actions, like the kiss-ins and sit-ins of the Gay Activists Alliance in the ’70s and ACT UP in the ’80s, and the civil rights movement sit-ins before that, have a history of success.

I expect that as time moves forward, when we look back at this kiss-in protest of Chick-fil-A, that we will see it more of a success than we realize.

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